Dove’s man manual

BBH London and Passion Pictures have collaborated on an animated ad to promote Dove’s new Men+Care range.

Ad agency BBH and production company Passion Pictures have collaborated on an animated video to promote Dove’s new Men+Care range.

The 30-second advert opens with an introduction to the ‘man manual’ – Dove’s skin care instructions for the modern man. Viewers are then transported into said man’s hectic world, experiencing a 6.00am wake up call from an energetic toddler and refereeing a child’s football match in the rain.

All this understandably leaves modern man desperate for a nice, hot shower. But as a voiceover warns, his hardy exterior isn’t built to withstand the drying effects of standard cleaning products, which is why he should use Dove. A man who uses Dove, we are told, can withstand multiple attacks – in this case, fending off a trio of children in a game of Godzilla.

As creative director Nick Allsop explains, the aim of the ad was to target an audience unenthused by images of toned and tanned 20-somethings and promises of becoming irresistible to the opposite sex. “These men are mostly married, bloke-y and quite happy with their appearance. They haven’t got six packs and they don’t want them,” he says.

The 2D animation is designed in the style of an instruction manual, with man described as if he was an appliance. “We wanted to find a way of talking about skincare that would appeal to men around the world [the ad will air in several countries including Germany, Brazil and Russia, as well as being available online]. Manuals put all of their guarantees in different languages but the illustrations work for everyone, which is why we chose to copy that style, and test audiences weren’t insulted by our likening man to a machine – they found it very funny,” adds Allsop.

While the illustrations used in the video are designed to look simple, their creation was anything but: each picture was drawn by hand before being transformed into a 3D image and back into a 2D animation by Passion, and it took more than a year to turn the pitch into a finished product.

“Animation usually takes weeks and you don’t have the option to make changes when it’s done, but as we had 33 rounds of research to do, we needed a style that was flexible and could be produced quickly. Using the technique of creating CG men and turning them back into 2D images also makes the movement really fluid and quite beautiful,” he adds.

It’s been an arduous task but BBH and Passion Pictures have successfully created an enjoyable ad that needs no translation and is perfectly suited to time-pressed Dads around the world. The largely greyscale colour scheme and old-fashioned voiceover give the ad a nostalgic feel without being twee, and Passion’s attention to detail has helped create a memorable campaign in a crowded and competitive market.

Creative Team: Will Holmes, Rory McCaskill, Matt Fitch, Mark Lewis
Creative Director: Nick Allsop
BBH Producer: Helen Powlette
Director: John Robertson
Executive Producer: Samantha Plaistead
Producer: Julie Murnaghan / Gerri McCarthy

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